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The Value of No (4/04/14)
Jason Dykstra
Fairly early in William Smithburg’s career as the CEO of Quaker, he impulsively bought Gatorade for $220 million because he liked the taste (as the story goes at least). Quaker quickly grew the Gatorade brand and shortly thereafter their $220 million purchase was roughly valued at $3 billion.

Legal Mediation News - April 2014 (4/01/14)
Keith Seat
This is another in a series of updates on Legal Mediation News from News Editor, Keith Seat. Keith is also Editor of Mediation News for the 21st Century, our personalized newsletter service for civil & commercial mediators.

Five Things You Didn’t Know about Arbitration (3/28/14)
Chris Poole
Arbitration is by no means a new option for resolving disputes. Yet, parties and their counsel may not be aware of everything that this method of alternative dispute resolution brings to the table. Here are five things you may not know about arbitration from members of the JAMS arbitration panel.

Implications for Mediation of Patent Infringement Suits (3/21/14)
James M. Amend
Most mediators will agree that a key to reaching a settlement is to have the right people in the room at the mediation. Unless all interested parties are represented by people having the authority to settle on their behalves, settlement is unlikely at the mediation session.

5 Things You Didn’t Know about Class Action ADR (2/28/14)
Chris Poole
For both plaintiffs and defendants, class action litigation is time-intensive, costly and requires close oversight from start to finish. As a result, parties are increasingly turning to alternative dispute resolution (ADR) providers to manage many aspects of class action litigation. The value that ADR can offer to parties extends well beyond reaching a settlement.

Writing a "Winning" Mediation Brief (2/14/14)

Like other briefs, a quality mediation brief starts with a careful evaluation of the audience. Who will see your brief? Who is making the settlement decision? Who are you trying to influence? Too many mediation briefs try to influence only the mediator. Every mediation is different. Every case has its own settlement personality. But there are recurring themes and issues that confront attorneys whose clients are heading to mediation.

ABA DR Section Survey on Gender Differences (2/07/14)
Andrea Schneider
The ABA Section on Dispute Resolution conducted a survey last year of its lawyer members and the results are in!

Mediate is Top Ranked Mediation Website (2/04/14) is ranked the top mediation and dispute resolution website by Alexa in its February 1, 2014 global website rankings. In business since 1996, has over 15,000 searchable mediation articles, blog posts, news items and videos. also hosts the most used mediator directory and offers mobile friendly website development, professional promotional services and cloud-based case management systems.

Good Judgment -- Handy Mediation Hint (1/31/14)
Katherine Graham
Good judgment skills are crucial in mediation and investigation. Misread a situation and it can be fatal. Act without prior consideration and it can destroy rapport. Misjudge parties and they may forgive you, but it will take a while before they trust you again.

Mediación Intercultural (1/30/14)
Guillermo Kleinlein
A través de los tiempos, la Mediación Intercultural en China se ha convertido en un método preferido para la Resolución de Disputas, a la par de preservar la paz social en un país de grandes extensiones y disímil orografía, con población de variados orígenes étnicos. Analizamos sus condiciones subyacentes comparadas con las existentes en la República Argentina y proponemos alternativas de implementación de tal método como sistema para la Resolución de Disputas.

Apple & Samsung Agree to Mediation (1/24/14)
Beth Graham
Electronics giants Apple, Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. have reportedly agreed to engage in mediation over the companies’ latest technology dispute. In Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., No. 11-1846 (N. D. California), the two smartphone manufacturers are once again at odds over patented technology related to Samsung’s Android operating system.

Time for Another Big Bang in Alternative Dispute Resolution - The World Needs a Global Pound Conference (1/23/14)
Deborah Masucci, Michael Leathes
ADR is sleepwalking globally.  It needs to be shaken out of its slumber.  There is a way to do it. A truly Global Pound Conference!

Should Governments Negotiate With Terrorists? (1/18/14)
Jeff Thompson
The priority of governments after a terrorist attack is to ensure the safety of the population, stabilize the state, and make sure that no other attacks will follow. Debates about whether governments should enter talks with terrorists produce a lot of heat, but a unanimous decision is never reached, mainly because of the emotional aftershock of an attack.

Mediation in Hotels (1/17/14)
Sandra Untrojb
The relationship between employees of different hierarchies and each of the departments that are part of the organization chart of a hotel such as Food and Beverage, Front office, Housekeeping, etc., results in that although all parts of the structure tend to say that no one in their company takes bad to anyone, if you look a little more closely, you discover behaviors they pit a sector against another by opposing interests.

Mediacion Aplicada a Empresas Hoteleras (1/15/14)
Sandra Untrojb
El situación de relación permanente entre los empleados de las distintas jerarquías y de cada uno de los departamentos que componen el organigrama del hotel como ser Alimentos y Bebidas, Front- office, Housekeeping , etc, trae como consecuencia que aunque todas las partes componentes de la estructura tiendan a decir que en su Empresa nadie se lleva mal con nadie, si se analiza con un poco más de detenimiento, se descubran comportamientos que enfrentan a los integrantes de un sector con los de otro por intereses opuestos.

Mediation Works for Family-Run Enterprises (1/10/14)
James MacPherson
In the Arab World, family firms make up 85 per cent of the region's non-oil GDP. While many are small to medium-sized enterprises - the cornerstone of any successful economy - the success of the GCC economies, coupled with the enterprising minds of business leaders during the region's boom years mean that a significant number of these organisations have become multinational and highly diversified businesses.

Co-Mediation: Training Wheels or Obstacle Course? (12/27/13)
Richard Barbieri
Although many training programs and mediation groups start new mediators in pairs, the challenge of learning how to work with a partner may only lengthen the learning curve. Evidence from other fields suggests that group performance depends on first honing individual skills, and that pairs or other teams work best when both parties are already experienced.

Tide Turning a Bit on Mandatory Arbitration Through Recognition that Process Suppresses Claims? (12/20/13)
Art Hinshaw
FOI and semi-regular guest blogger Jean Sternlight (UNLV) shares with us her latest thoughts about mandatory arbitration. There is speculation that mandatory arbitration disserves consumers, but this next year offers options to increase protect fair policies.

Increasing Legalism in International Commercial Arbitration (12/20/13)
Beth Graham
Recent years have seen an increasing amount of criticism of international commercial arbitration, primarily because of concerns about excessive legalism and the attendant increase in the amount of time and money spent on the dispute resolution process. The common assumption is that international commercial arbitration has changed, and not for the better.

Violencia Familiar y ODR - Espanol (12/18/13)
Maria Eugenia Sole
Mientras el conflicto es inevitable e inherente a la familia, la violencia es una manifestación inadecuada a tensiones y conflictos que desbordan la capacidad de respuestas de los individuos, por encontrarse en situación grave de limitaciones psicoemocionales, socioculturales o económicas. En este sentido, la violencia es la manifestación extrema de las limitaciones a las que están sometidas las familias.-

Luanda Believes in Mediation as a Valid Dispute Resolution Approach (12/13/13)
Ana Gonçalves
Between the 25th and the 29th of November of 2013, the CAAL, an Angolan arbitration dispute center based in Luanda, and Convirgente, with the support of the Angolan Bar Association and the Qualifying Assessment Program for Portuguese speaking countries represented by ICFML (Instituto de Certificação e Formação de Mediadores Lusófonos), organized a course on Mediation, in Luanda, Angola. The training purpose was to give participants the necessary skills to act as mediators in several types of disputes.

CFPB Preliminary Results on Study of Arbitration Clauses in Consumer Financial Contracts (12/13/13)
Paul Kirgis
The Consumer Financial Products Board has issued preliminary findings from its study of arbitration clauses in consumer financial contracts. The results will not surprise anyone who follows this area. The CFPB found that large banks are much more likely than small banks to include arbitration clauses, but that because of their market share, around 50% of credit card loans and 44% of insured checking account deposits are covered by arbitration agreements.

The Spectre of Class Action Arbitration in Consumer Product Disputes (12/13/13)
Nicholas Peacock
Class arbitrations have primarily been viewed as an instrument of the US legal system. However, given the international capability and procedural flexibility of arbitration, the scope that they offer for collective redress by consumers is attracting increasing interest.

Leadership: Visionary. Charismatic. Dull? (12/13/13)
Maria Simpson
Meg Whitman, former CEO of EBay, wants to be the governor of California, what is sometimes referred to as the “state CEO.” (LAT, 2/16/09, p. C1) She and her supporters argue that her corporate experience makes her an ideal candidate for “state CEO.” The question is not, “Is Whitman qualified to be a CEO?” but “Is she qualified to be successful in a political environment rather than a business environment?”

Scotland Can Provide Secure Forum for Global Disputes (12/06/13)
John Sturrock
This is a difficult time for the world as we face serious tensions in the Middle East. Thirty years ago, the situation was similar. On 1 September that year, fighter jets from the Soviet Union shot down a South Korean jumbo jet near Sakhalin Island, in the Sea of Japan, killing all 269 people on board. The Cold War was at a peak. Relations between East and West were at a low ebb.

“Private Caucusing” In Civil Pretrial Mediations (11/22/13)
Jessica Grynberg, Jeffrey Makoff
Two California litigators-mediators challenge the dominant "private caucusing" mediation method, based upon principles and best practices now being taught at the Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation. The authors observe that private caucus mediation or "shuttle diplomacy" is often ineffective in achieving early settlements and argue that skillfully-conducted joint sessions should replace private caucusing in most cases.

Warren Bennis, Mediators, and the RPM (11/22/13)
Karen Hollett
Warren Bennis, academic, consultant and author on leadership, once suggested that there are two ways to be creative. He said, "One can sing and dance. Or one can create an environment where singers and dancers flourish." I love that idea.

The Federalization of Consumer Arbitration: Possible Solutions (11/22/13)
Beth Graham
Over the past fifteen to twenty years, businesses dramatically increased the use of arbitration clauses in contracts with consumers. Although commentators criticize the use of arbitration to resolve consumer disputes because arbitration lacks the due process protections inherent in traditional litigation, efforts to regulate or eliminate the use of arbitration in this context have failed miserably.

Beware the Bully Negotiator (11/15/13)
Jan Frankel Schau
I have just finished reading Professor Dwight Golann's excellent book, "Sharing a Mediator's Powers". It was timely in that last week I mediated a contentious wrongful termination case in which one of the advocates was a notorious "bully".

JAMS Supports the ABA’s Planned Early Dispute Resolution Project (11/04/13)
Chris Poole
In the interest of saving time and money, the ABA Dispute Resolution has launched a user guide to help parties and lawyers develop a new process to resolve disputes.

An Unfortunate Proposal to Encourage Plea Bargaining Early and Often (11/04/13)
Cynthia Alkon
The UK Ministry of Justice is proposing to save £220 million (approximately $351 million) by paying lawyers so that they will receive more money if they plead their clients guilty early in their criminal case, rather than waiting longer or going to trial.

Consistently Inconsistent: The Need for Predictability in Awards (10/25/13)
Beth Graham
In investment treaty arbitrations, the stakes are high. It is not uncommon for claims to be asserted for hundreds of millions of dollars, and for the costs to resolve such disputes to run into the millions of dollars. Despite the substantial sums involved in resolving such disputes, there exists no uniform practice on awarding costs and fees in investment treaty arbitrations.

Top Mediator Website,, Celebrates Past, Present & Future of Mediation (10/18/13)
James Melamed
This week's issue of The Weekly is's 500th compilation of mediation articles, featured blog posts, news, job listings, a field-wide calendar and more. Be sure to see our 500th Issue Testimonials. For 18 years, has been the trusted consolidator of comprehensive mediation information and resources.

The Future of Financial Services Arbitration (10/04/13)
Emily Blanshard
Arbitration practitioners in Asia have long been used to seeing arbitration clauses as the prevalent form of dispute resolution in cross-border finance transactions. As other emerging markets (such as those in Africa) continue their rise, this trend looks set to spread to other regions. Within the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region typically used as a business division within the financial services sector, it is only for intra-EU transactions where the old orthodoxy of court jurisdiction continues to hold strong.

Ten Ways To Be Successful in Mediation (10/03/13)
David Peterson
It’s no secret that insurance carriers have altered their practices in the past several years. Authority and independent judgment previously possessed has been removed from adjusters, managers and supervisors as executives in the companies strive for uniformity in claims handling and ironclad control over settlement decisions. Rarely at mediation is there a person present from an insurance carrier with genuine ability to be flexible and exercise individual judgment beyond parameters established in advance.

Building Better Business Cultures (10/03/13)
John Sturrock
A culture shift from conflict to collaboration is taking place, leading mediators believe, in handling difficult situations and disputes, not only in business but in many aspects of public life – a development which presents fresh challenges to the legal profession.

Preventing Additional Disputes about Money (9/27/13)
Joanna Wares
Disputes about money are one of the major issues we see in mediation. Communication on expectations is crucial in maintaining a good relationship when discussing financial issues.

5 Top Business Boo Boos (9/08/13)
Victoria Pynchon
In a special free report from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, the smartest negotiatiators in the room offer their advice on the five top bargaining errors.

Court-Connected Mediation and Minorities (8/31/13)
Beth Graham
After years of experimentation with the use of alternative dispute mechanisms in a variety of contexts, a new era began in 1988 when Florida and Texas became the first states to adopt legislation that authorized trial judges to order civil cases to mediation. Over the past 25 years, court-connected mediation has grown exponentially.

How to Make Sure A Corporate Representative’s Deposition Testimony Sticks at Trial (8/31/13)
John Bratt
In my opinion, one of the most powerful, yet underused, discovery devices around is the corporate representative deposition. This is because whomever is selected as the representative bonds the corporate entity with whatever their answers are. They are not testifying based solely upon their personal knowledge, but based upon all information known or available to the corporate entity.

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